Counting number of page loads by visitor

Hi,

I have a simple website with a SEARCH form and Every visitor can perform a search.

I want to be able to count the page loads to allow only 3 searches/loads by user, then, after 3 loads detected to  disable the search text field:

<input name="textfield" type="text" id="textfield" value="Search...">
 
<input name="textfield" type="text" disabled id="textfield" value="Search...">

Should this be done by creating cookies ? or using session variable ? or IP check ?

Could some expert please help me with this implementation and the condition for text field ?

Thank you

FernanditosAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
themrrobertConnect With a Mentor Commented:
use session variable
<?php
session_start();
//place at top of page /\

$_SESSION['count']++;

if ($_SESSION['count'] >= 3) echo $disabledtext; 
else echo $normaltext;

?>

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Ray PaseurCommented:
It depends on whether you want the 3-count to persist beyond a single visit.  Session cookies will be lost when the browser is closed, so the session will not persist.  however you can set your own cookies that last as long as you want.
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Ray PaseurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here is an example that will do what you want (and a few other things).  But there is a philosophical question you might want to ask yourself.  Why do you want to limit the searches?  Most sites would be only too happy to have clients visiting lots of times and making lots of searches.  Just a thought...
<?php // RAY_temp_fernanditos.php
error_reporting(E_ALL);

// ALWAYS START THE SESSION ON EVERY PAGE
session_start();

// SET THE SEARCH LIMIT
$limit = 3;

// ASSUME WE WANT TO ENABLE THE SEARCH
$disabled = NULL;

// SET THE SEARCH COUNTER IF IT'S NOT THERE
if (empty($_SESSION["search_counter"])) $_SESSION["search_counter"] = 0;

// DISABLE THE SEARCH IF THE COUNTER IS OVER THE LIMIT
if ($_SESSION["search_counter"] > $limit) $disabled = 'disabled';

// HOW MANY SEARCHES ARE LEFT
$n = $limit - $_SESSION["search_counter"];

// IF THERE IS A SEARCH
if (!empty($_GET['q']))
{
    $_SESSION["search_counter"]++;
    $n = $limit - $_SESSION["search_counter"];
    if ($n > 0)
    {
        $message = "YOU SEARCHED FOR {$_GET["q"]}";
    }
    else
    {
        $message = "SORRY, TOO MANY SEARCHES";
    }
}
// IF THERE IS NO SEARCH
else
{
    $message = "YOU DID NOT SEARCH";
}

// IN EITHER CASE
$message .= "<br/>YOU HAVE $n SEARCH(ES) LEFT";

// IF THERE ARE NO SEARCHES LEFT, DISABLE THE BOX
if ($n < 1)
{
    $disabled = 'disabled';
    $message  .= "<br/>SORRY, YOU CAN NOT SEARCH ANY MORE";
}


// CREATE THE WEB PAGE
$html = <<<HTML
<script language="JavaScript">
<!--
function searchIsBlank()
{
    value=document.forms['search'].elements['q'].value;
    if (( value == "" ) || ( value == "Search"))
    {
        alert("Please enter at least one word in the search box.");
        document.forms['search'].elements['q'].value = "";
        document.forms['search'].elements['q'].focus();
        return false;
    }
    else
    {
        return true;
    }
}

function searchClear()
{
    value=document.forms['search'].elements['q'].value;
    if (value == "Search")
    {
        document.forms['search'].elements['q'].value = "";
        document.forms['search'].elements['q'].focus();
        return false;
    }
    else
    {
        return true;
    }
}
</script>
<form  class="search" name="search" method="get">
$message
<br/>
<input class="search_input"  type="text"   name="q"  $disabled  value="Search"  onclick="return searchClear();" />
<input class="search_submit" type="submit"                      value="go"      onclick="return searchIsBlank();" />
</form>
HTML;

// WRITE THE PAGE
echo $html;

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